I know. The episode image is different (a mistake) from the podcast name because I am still trying to figure out how to edit things in Anchor and Spotify. Hahaha.
Welcome to the first ever episode of this podcast which has no title yet. But I’m thinking that maybe I should just use SavingSupergirl for now because that’s the name of my blog. And yes, I do keep a blog at savingsupergirl.com (and if you want to check it out, thank you so much. But if not, it’s fine. I mean, it’s totally fine) Pero in case you’re curious, it’s actually where I share random stories, or the things I’m learning as married person because yes I am also married, it’s also where I share life lessons in general, and a lot of random things which I want to keep for myself but I’m generous enough to share it to other people as well.
I decided to start this podcast mainly because of 2 reasons. One, is to be able to keep a recording of the things I write because – as a little backstory, I started blogging since 2004 and from time to time, I still go back to my previous write-ups and just read everything; or if not everything, some of it. And I really I enjoy doing that whenever I need a good laugh or whenever I just want to remind myself who I was or of how I think in the past years. And now, because I recently found myself being able to multi-task while listening to podcasts, I thought, “Why don’t I keep a recording of my thoughts so that I can also listen to it anytime, anywhere?” O diba. Parang Sporify. Especially in the future when my eyes will start to give up on me. Because I know that I have very bad eyes. Right now, I’m 30 years old and my eyeglasses are at 400grade and I have no plans of having a laser procedure for my eyes in the next few years because one it’s very expensive, for me. I cannot afford it at this point. And two, let’s just admit it, maybe I’m too scared to do it.
So anyway, the second reason why I decided to start this podcast is because I want to practice my speaking skills. I’ve always believed that I write better than I speak, and that I can never ever do an impromptu thing and come up with anything substantial. Probably because I’m more of a visual person so I’m more comfortable when I write things first before I say anything. But this is weird because I also enjoy speaking. Even though it drains me a lot afterwards. In fact, I was given opportunities in the past to speak to different groups of people, of different ages like youth, young adults, adults, and I could say that I kinda enjoyed the experience that I think this, this podcast is a good platform for me to enhance my skills and be more comfortable or confident with it.
So anyway, enough of the introduction of what’s behind this podcast because I have something very personal to talk about today. (Forgive the noise of my neighbors) Well, actually, speaking of very personal, lahat naman ng pino-post ko sa blog ko eh very personal. So wala rin palang difference. But today, I’d like to share my anxiety issues, where I’m currently at when it comes to getting over it, and some of the things that I practice or do to help myself.
So to give a little more background about myself, for you to understand better where I’m coming from, I am a very detail-oriented person. I live by my to-do notes, schedules, and calendar, and I literally have a notebook for these things, not a planner (because I believe there’s more flexibility in using even just an ordinary notebook, compared to the ones with a daily, weekly, or monthly sections). But take note: this is different from my journal. And I don’t about you, but I find joy just looking at the things that I was able to tick off my to-do list. In fact, you’ll know that I’m not in my best state if I am not planning out my schedule or if I randomly do things without looking on a list. I love being organized with my time; not necessarily my environment (although I’m doing my best to do something about it), and for me, this whole planning and scheduling, it helps me live my life so much better.
But even though I am a full-pledged.. let’s say “productivity ninja” (if there is such a title), there are really days when my mind and body voluntarily takes a break and just breathe from all the things that I’ve written in my notes and schedule. And usually, days like that really flip my life for a certain period of time, because it comes without notice and it’s so intense that it leaves me with no choice but just to drop everything and reset. And now that I’ve experienced it for quite a number of times in the past, I could say that it’s an indication that there’s something I’m not doing right. Because we all know that scheduling and planning ahead should make our lives easier and not make us more exhausted or confused.
I recently had this episode and I could say that this is the worst one I’ve experienced in my entire life. Because in the past years, it usually ends in about a week or so, but this one is different because it was like the feeling of being overwhelmed was there all the time. It even went on for months and it was like my whole system was so exhausted and could no longer function right. I even stopped listing down things I needed to accomplish. I stopped putting schedules in my calendar. I dropped every task which requires my responsibility, and the things I did on a daily basis were based on what I feel like doing and not based on what really needs to be done. And right now, I could say that I’m still recovering.
Honestly, it’s quite difficult to fully bounce back from this “welcome to 30s” experience (because I just turned 30 last May, but don’t get me wrong; I’m not blaming the age) and I think could share a lot of reasons of what I think triggered this emotional and mental breakdown. I think it was the only list I was able to keep for myself. My list of WHY, WHO, WHERE, and WHEN I think this all started. But I don’t want to talk about it now because no matter what I do, it’s already here. I mean, andito na eh. I have decided to temporarily give up trying to figure out why I came to this point in my life but instead, I started to actually do something about it. And that’s what I’ll be sharing today. I’ll be sharing some of the things that helped me or is still helping me in the process of getting out of this misery (if that’s the right word to describe it).
1. Taking Care Of My “Inner Peace”
I remember, this is one of the first things I did when I realized that something is wrong. I told myself that I needed to keep my peace and just stay away from anything that will disturb it. So, the most basic thing I did was to look at all my social media accounts and decided to change the way I was using it. I even deleted ones which I don’t really use on a regular basis, like Twitter because I found out that I don’t really use Twitter. I use it for my rants but I can do away with it. In short, I became more intentional and practical in my use of let’s say Facebook or Instagram, and I even stopped myself from opening Messenger on random times of the day because it bombards me with a lot information and a lot of things which I don’t really need to concern myself much with (especially if you’re part of too many group chats). Btw, I still believe that calls or sms is there for very urgent matters. That’s the reason kung bakit hindi ako ganun ka-active sa social media, or sa Messenger.
Up to this point, I’m still adjusting on ways to maintain my peace. For me, social media is a major trigger for it to be disturbed so I needed to really do something about it. I’m not saying that you do the same, but I’m just letting you know that this is what is working for me and I could say that my life has been happier. And because I now have extra time from limiting my online presence, I found myself being able to do new things: read a book for at-least 30 minutes to an hour a day, or study a new language (because yes, I am trying to learn Italian on Duolingo — I know that is so random), listen to a podcast, or even have more time writing, which explains the more regular blog posts (which explains the more regular blog posts in the past weeks, although I think medyo nawala ako sa rythm ko).
2. I Realized I Can Actually Say No
This is something that I’m still working on. From what I’ve noticed in the past, I usually say yes to commitments based on the free spaces in my calendar and not really because I really need or I really want to do it. I think this has something to do with my pride and identity issue because most of the time, I feel like the more things I do, the more important I am. Which is of course, it’s not true, but it’s so hard to live this out.
So another thing that I’ve been doing for the past couple of months is to be honest to myself and to other people, and just say no if I know that it will not help me at all. I mean, if saying yes to certain things will just contribute more to my anxiety then why do I need to put myself in such situations? Right? And besides, it’s not like I owe everybody my whole life that I have no choice aside from saying yes. So yes, I am still learning how to say no, and I always have remind myself that it’s fine. People will not hate you. But in case they do, then it just means that they’re not the right people to surround yourself with. Although, I’m praying that maybe if I do it at-least one step at a time – the saying YES part, (with no pressure), then I might eventually find myself functioning like my old self. But.. (see next point)
3. Whatever This Season Is, It’s Okay
The other day, I found myself pondering about these thoughts. I was thinking that, “Maybe I should learn to accept that I am no longer the same person that I used to be.” Because the more I try to be who I was, the more frustrated I become. And I need to remind myself that, that is reality. We grow up, we mature, our concerns and priorities in life change, so why do I want to pressure myself to do the things that I used to do. Maybe I need to let go and whatever this season I am in, I have to remind myself that it’s okay. If it’s my season to be not okay, or the season to rest, or the season to admit to myself that I have changed, then I need to embrace it, and maybe not only embrace but also to endure.
I have this problem of thinking so much about what other people would say. And now that I’m 30 years old, I’m slowly realizing that I’m tired. I’m tired of caring so much about what others would think about me. And I need to remind this to myself everyday, “People do not define me. They don’t know my story. They don’t know what I’m going through, and I don’t owe them anything.” So I should not allow them to dictate my life.
4. Be Grateful
I know it’s so hard to be grateful when you are dealing with so much anxiety or depression but it’s something that we all need to fight for everyday. Because if we will allow ourselves to be consumed with all the negativity in our lives, it will really stop us from appreciating even one good thing that’s right in front of us. And if we will focus more in that one good thing, then who knows, maybe that would be enough to give us hope, one day at a time.
I was reminded of one biblical truth the other day. And that is God is sovereign. Meaning, He knows everything and not only that, He is also in control of everything. I think it was so timely for me to be reminded with this because I seem to have forgotten that before I was this person who is dealing with so much anxiety, I was first and foremost a child of God. And I cannot fully explain how much relief it gave me at that moment, being reminded of how sovereign our God is, and realizing that God knows what I’m going through and He is still in control.
And that’s it! I’m about to end this episode and in case you want to go back and review all the points I shared a while ago, a transcript of this recording is available on my blog, savingsupergirl.com. I’m not saying that these are the ultimate solution to our anxiety issues but this could be steps to at-least help us breathe in this difficult life and phase we are in. Thank you for listening.